Stuart Smith not fazed by low list ranking

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 05:00 30/07/2014

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A low ranking on the National Party's list doesn't worry Kaikoura electorate candidate Stuart Smith.

Smith said yesterday he was not running as a list MP, so his ranking at 62 of 75 didn't worry him.

"I note that all the ones in the bluer seats were ranked in alphabetical order . . . I wasn't expecting one way or the other with the list. Had I a name starting with an ‘A', I would have been much higher up on the list. I'm running as an electorate MP, not a list one, so no worries."

His campaign was going well, Smith said.

"I've visited nearly 1200 businesses now. I've been doorknocking. Everything is going well. There is certainly a good feeling out there."

Smith launched his campaign at two events over the weekend. Two hundred people attended a dinner on Saturday night in Cheviot with Speaker David Carter and senior National minister Gerry Brownlee. Another 80 people, including Nelson MP and minister Nick Smith, attended an event at Forrest Estate in Renwick on Sunday.

"It was a very successful launch at both events. People had to put their hands in their pockets to attend, so it was real commitment."

The party list determines which MPs can enter Parliament without winning an electorate seat. The number who enter from the list is determined by the party's share of the overall party vote.

National Party president Peter Goodfellow said the party's list for the 2014 election brought together a strong mix of experienced political leaders and fresh new talent.

"With the depth of talent we have to choose from, settling on a list that balances new blood alongside valuable experience was not an easy task. However, we believe we've struck the right mix that will allow for renewal and continued stability in a third term."

Several other political parties have selected candidates for the Kaikoura electorate. Labour's Janette Walker was ranked 46th on the list, and Green Party MP Steffan Browning was 14th on his party's list.

The Conservative Party selected Picton man Howard Hudson as its Kaikoura candidate, but its list had not yet been published.

NZ First Kaikoura spokesman Steve Campbell said the party's candidates and list would be announced on August 8.

There are four announced candidates for Te Tai Tonga, the Maori electorate that Marlborough falls into. They are sitting MP Labour's Rino Tirikatene, Maori Party candidate Ngaire Button, Mana Party candidate Georgina Beyer, and Green Party candidate Dora Langsbury. cathie.bell@mex.co.nz

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